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duck session is a gamble if they do wait. if the republicans make big gains, they're not going to be in any mood, you know, to pass what -- obama's version of the extending the tax cuts so there's a danger there of a stalemate that could push this into next year. i agree with kim. i think that the likelihood is that they will address the middle class tax cuts to make sure they don't go up. but i think there is a chance, less than a 50% chance but still a chance that they might not do it. >> now, one of the issues we talked about as the uncertainty in the tax code. is this a legitimate issue? >> i think it's a huge issue. when i talk to small business owners in my reporting, it's one of the things that they mention constantly. and that has to do with the expiration of the 2001 tax cuts, as kim is mentioning. it also has to do with the year-to-year extension of things like the r & d credit
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which from one day to the next businesses don't know whether it's going to get extended or whether it will be prospective or retroactive. it's definitely important. >> yeah. and this is one of the reasons that mr. mundaca pointed out that i think most people agree that the tax code is a jumble right now. there needs to be broader reform. you asked that question, but i also think most people think that that's not going to happen in the next couple of years. with the presidential election, you know, soon after the november elections. >> now, the president's proposals this week, the business tax proposals, a lot of those are supported by republicans. eh lot of the proposals are supporteded by republicans. is this more politics than policy? >> well, i think that was part of the strategy in offering these proposals because nothing can really be done about the economy in two months.
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i don't think most people understand that. yeah, i think it was aimed at putting the republicans in a position of saying here are some proposals to decrease taxes on business which republicans normally champion. and, you know, will you support me on this? and it's also seen as sort of a way for the obama administration to perhaps take control of the conversation. republicans have been screaming about the bush tax cuts and the peppeding tax increases that may happen if he gets his way on the top two income groups. >> yeah it goes back to what kim said to how they are paid for. that's how the republicans have kind of tried to stake out a position that's different from the president's on these broadly popular tax cuts. their argument has been, well, we like it but we don't trust that you're not going to slap some tax increase on it that at the end of the day will be worse than what we could have had with the permanent extension. >> martin vaghan with dow
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jones, kim dixon with reuters. thank you for being on "newsmakers." >> considered the father of modern community organizing, his 1971 book "rules for radicals" is still used as a blueprint for social change. >> it defies all the stereotypes of what a rebel rouser is supposed to be. >> nicholas von hoffman writes about his experiences, tonight on c-span's "q & a". >> this week on "prime ministers questions" members return to the house of commons following their summer recess. and the deputy prime minister stood in. the deputy leader faced questioning about the prime minister's communications chief who was accused of tapping into celebrities' voicemail. he also talks about aid to
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flood victims in pakistan and unemployment benefits. "prime minister's questions" tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span. now a town hall meeting with senator tom coburn. the oklahoma convenient completing his first term in office sean running for re-election. he takes questions on issues of interests to both local residents and a national audience, mainly on health care. this is just over an hour. >> good afternoon. glad you're all here. what we're going to try to do is spend as much time as we can answering questions. the one thing that i love about town hall meetings is i get an ear full and i get to learn from it. i will tell you ahead of time that i'm pretty good about reading the emails that i get. if you get a letter back from
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me, and almost everybody does unless we've lost it, you can count i've read the letter that you sent me or the email that you sent me. and you can also count that it's my words coming back to you, not somebody else's. and i'm about 5,000 behind right now. [laughter] and i spend about two and a half hours a day on it. i spend about an hour and a half in the car, driving over here today, answering your letters. so if you hadn't gotten an answer and it's been three or four months, it's my fault. if it's been longer than that you probably ought to question whether or not we actually got it or we've misplaced it. we average about 2,000 to 3,000 letters a month. so it takes a while. but it really is important to me to hear from you because that's how i learn what oklahomans think. i'm just going to spend a few minutes talking about where we are and how i see where we are. i think we have three real problems in front of us.
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and let me differentiate between the problem and the symptoms of the problem. because part of our problem is that we don't talk about the real problems. we talk about the symptoms. the first problem is that we've ignored the u.s. constitution. and if you go and look at the enumerated powers, what we've done is we've expanded it far beyond what it was ever intended to be expanded on by our founders. we've done it in the name of doing good things. but as we spend $4.1 billion a day that we don't have and charge it to our kids, it's really time for to us reconsider that. we also have $13.35 trillion in real debt, not the number that washington will send to you. it will have to be repaid, going to $20 trillion in 2020. and what that does is that steals opportunity and future from our children and grandchildren.
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that's not our heritage. we ought to reject that. and we ought to be about making the hard choices about what's a priority and what's not a priret. -- priority. i've tried to do that over five and a half years. haven't won very many amendments, but i've offered more than anybody else up there in trying to get back to that. the third thing that we have that is a problem is that we lack visionary leadership. we're kind of in the doldrums right now economically and in a lot of other ways. that's because we haven't had it voiced and vocalized that we need to get back to embracing the very characteristics that made this country the greatest country in the world. it provides more -- a greater standard of living than any country has ever provided, greater freedom, and greater vnsment. -- advancement. and it did it not because of us. it did it because we're a system in which we have a limited government and that
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individual will and individual freedom ends up trumping the best thing a bureaucracy can ever do. and by far. so the hope is that we'll recognize these and that we'll move. we do not have one problem in front of us as a nation. that is not solveable. but if we talk about the symptoms and not the real problems, we delay the time at which we have to get to and work on the real problem. and it's just like practicing medicine. if you come to me and you've got fever and a cough and chest pain and i say, oh, i can take care of your chove -- cough, i can give you a narcotic, and i can take care of your fever, and i can also give you something to help the chest pain but if i never diagnose the fact that you have pneumonia and treat the real disease, you're going to fell better at first and then get a lot worse. and that's what we've done so we need to get rid of the politically correct dialogues that say you're a bad person if
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you talk about something that we're doing today. you're not. the fact is we have a lot of problems in front of us, and we need to discover what they are. we need to talk about what the real problems are, and then make the hard choices that says what's number one, number two, number three knowing we can't do everything we would like to do. nor should we at the federal level so with that, let me stop. what i'm going to get to you do is voice a question. i'm going to repeat it so everybody can hear it. yes, sir? >> my name's norman bryant. larry roberts, which is a friend of yours, as i know, is in the hospital -- >> i knew that. >> that's enough of that. i have two questions. ok? one of them is illegal
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immigrants. i am so sick and tired of hearing about all of this stuff about illegal immigrants and the fact that nobody's doing anything about it. obama, supposedly in august, he supposedly sent some troops to help at the border. but it's kind of like a band-aid on the situation that's really serious. and legal immigrants i got no problem with. but all of these drug lords and criminals coming into our country, illegally and the government not doing anything about it, bush didn't do anything about it, obama's not doing anything about it. why in heaven's name don't we stop that? >> why don't we start with that one. >> ok. >> first of all, in 2006 we created a change on the border that took $8 billion of your money, and we implemented a
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significant change on the border. a 5,000 increase in border patrol and a significant amount of money to be spent on fencing where fencing works. that was not completed under this administration. for some reason. but the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country is about a third of what it was during that time. there's still way too many. no republic has ever survived that cannot control its borders. we won't survive. if somebody tells you we can't do it, then they're either ignorant, deceitful, or have no knowledge of history. the fact is, we can. there are a lot of problems associated with it. getting the consensus to do just that. you may be interested to know that about 48% of the people who are here illegally came legally. they came under a visa that our government granted to them to allow them to come to this country. and the congress has been
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incompetent in creating a system and enforcing the -- and forcing the administrate, the executive branch, to force a system that manages entry and exit visas. that's half of the illegal problem. that's something we can solve tomorrow. but it's got to be a priority, and it hasn't been a priority for this administration. and it needs to be fixed. why have a visa system if you're not going to enforce it? the second problem has to do with what i call bureaucratic middley-muck. you have the department of interior that won't allow the border patrol to come on to their land because they're afraid it might tear it up. but the very same place where they might tear it up is where the vast majority of illegals are coming across the land, tearing up the land. that's the bureaucratic rule of never do what's best when you can do what's safe for the bureaucracy. that's because we have uncontrolled bureaucracies. and so it's not a simple
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problem. you're right. there is a move to fix that. we tried to fix it. we couldn't get it fixed completely when president bush was there. i believe we ought to seal our border and we ought to control it. and anybody that says we can't do that, i think, is inherently wrong. and it ought to be. but it requires the leadership to do it. so you hear the questions about the 14th amendment. you don't need to address the 14th amendment. because that's one of the symptoms of the problem not the problem. if you control the border, you don't have any problem with the 14th amendment. in terms of children coming here and granting citizenship because they were born here. because if, in fact, you controlled the border, that wouldn't be an issue. so it's important that we get back in control of those issues. [applause] who's next? >> why are you using your senatorial powers to sequester my records? >> this is a gentleman that had
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dropped your records off ot our office, my understanding. >> no. i have affidavits to people that witnessed you asking me three times if you could take my medical records home. i have affidavits of 10 doctors that you referred me to and i have their correspondence back to you thanking you for the refefrl -- referral. i also have records from the u.s. marshall's file showing you that pam faxed you my records. >> you have all of these things. and we have communicated with you add inif i night yum -- ad infinitum that we have tried in every way possible to find your records. we have searched my medical office upside down and out. we can't find them. there is not an answer i can give to you that's going to satisfy you other than the fact that you're welcome to carry this through. nobody's sequestering your
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records. your records are lost. >> no. they were sequestered by shelton sperling -- >> i didn't sequester your records. >> they're sequestered at your request. >> that's not true. if you want to handle this issue, you're welcome to talk to joanie in my office in tulsa. but we cannot solve the problem that is not an accurate description of the problem. >> we have your correspondence. i did a print screen in your office while your nurse went to the back. i show from your computer my records are archived. >> we don't have -- first of all, you're in error and i'm not going to spend anymore time on this. we don't have electronic medical records in my office. >> you have a computer screen that shows what records are -- >> no, we don't. and you're in error. yes, sir? >> "the wall street journal" this weekend did anti-view with jim demint who has had some success at trying to get some
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conservative candidates actually elected to the senate. and they were very laud tritoward senator demeant and yourself. and there wasn't a naming of additional persons. they named you as the two true conservative that are in the senate and had a voice at trying to do things like bring attention to the national debt, talk aboutenings a market-based, conservative fashion. do you see any hope -- and in fact, there was some discussion about how he was get something pushback from the national party. and, oh we know the vilification that you have taken, you know, from both sides because of the stance that you have often taken in the senate. is there any hope that you see of us putting some true conservatives in the senate to try to bring -- give you and the senator some help and then
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pushing for some of these needed reforms that you've discussed? >> i like the word you used because you didn't use republican. labels are cheap and not very accurate. having been in the senate now five and a half years i've been labeled a lot of things. most of them inaccurate. look. our country has problems. how do we solve them? we certainly don't use the absence of common sense to get to the solution to our problems. and that's one of the biggest problems that i see in washington. look, there are a lot of great people. democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives in washington. the frame of reference is, i think, the critical factor that's missioning -- missing. a large number of the people who serve in washington love our country, but they have absolutely no real world practical experience on almost
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anything because they've spent their entire career in, quote, public service. so when it comes to making critical decisions, they don't have a machine that they worked often that broke down that taught them certain lessons. they don't know what a quarter 20 bolt is. you wonder how many flat tires they changed in their lives. you go through the practical aspect of living life where you're taught and learn something about life. they don't have malicious motives. what we need is people with real world experience to come apply that experience to the problems that are facing our nation much like our founders did. and instead we have a career class of almost elites that have become arrogant in their position. and i am a little guilt of that. i'm not throwing anything on anybody that probably can't be applied to me. but the point is, that isn't getting us out of our troubles.
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we need clear thinking. and we need to recognize, what was the country built on? the country was built on a heritage of sacrifice that one generation works hard, sacrifices hard to create opportunity for those that follow. that was built on the fact that we had certain constitution dwral -- constitutional principles that we followed to a very great degree until the late 1940's. then we started abandoning the true meaning of the constitution by expanding the commerce clause, expanding the general welfare clause. and now if you say anything, you don't care about people. well, the fact is there's not anybody in this room that wouldn't sacrifice to help somebody who was truly in need. but there's a big difference in that and creating a system that's designed to be defrauded and abused. and that's truly where we find ourselves. truly one in 19 people in this country today are on
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disability. and that doesn't count our veterans. do you really think one in 19 people are disabled? have we designed the system to be abused? yeah. and we know -- in the recent past 600,000 of them have been given commercial driver's licenses. well, if you know anything about medicine or commercial driver's licenses and disability, if you're truly disabled, that means by definition, under the law, there's not a job in the economy you can perform but yet you can pass a commercial driver's license and meet the physical exam for that? and that's just one small example. but it cost us $14 billion. and if you have 100 $14 billions what do you have? pretty soon it adds up so when we've done oversight where we can identify $350 billion worth
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of either waste, fraud, abuse or dupe indication -- duplication and you can't get the body electric in the senate or the house to go after that fraud, waste, duplication or limit -- or incompetent -- incompetence, it's time to send different people there. and what the senator has concentrated orn -- on is just send me some help. but the real answer is you. the real answer is holding us accountable for our votes. yes, sir? >> this administration is attacking the medicare advantage program. can that be anything that can be reversed? >> his question is about the health care bill where a large amount, billions of dollars of
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savings came by eliminating the options for people who are on medicare advantage. and the politically correct rationalization for doing that is the insurance companies were making too much money off of it . the thing people don't count on is rural oklahomans and poor oklahomans who have medicare advantage who can't afford a supplemental medicare policy actually are much better taken care of through the coordinated care of medicare advantage than they would be on straight medicare. so it's really been pennywise and pound-foolish. if you think the insurance companies are making too much money, cut the amount of money they make but don't take away the benefits fromed medicare patients. what we're going to see is millions of americans lose critical coverage under medicare advantage. now, it's not critical if you're setting in washington talking about this gentleman. but if you're talking about his health care and his ability, it's a critical problem.
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if in fact, you want the decisions on your health care made by bureaucrats, then we need tomorrow brace what this add mrption has done on health care. but -- administration has done on health care. look. we passed up a golden opportunity to fix the real problems in health care. do you know what they are? it cost too much. health care in america costs too much. why does it cost too much? because one out of $3 that we spend today helps nobody in health care. one out of $3 doesn't prevent anybody from getting sick and doesn't help anybody who is sick get well. well what would happen to your health care tomorrow if in fact, we got rid of that one out of $3 that isn't helping anybody? your insurance premiums and your cost of health care would go down a third. that would really be beneficial. wouldn't it? so why wouldn't we design a system to get rid of the excess cost in the system rather than
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to put the government into rationing which they'll deny but is going to happen on a cost comparative effectiveness panel. and into a new payment panel which has created a massive shortage of primary care doctors in this country. why don't we fix the real problem? so we pass a big opportunity. and we did that that's both punishment for the insurance industry, one, and number two, paying for the people who are on medicare advantage. not everybody on medicare advantage is in that situation. and some won't miss a beat. but for 89,000 oklahomans who are on medicare advantage, they're going to see a significant reduction in their benefit. and so what we're doing -- if you like the health care you got, you can keep it? i don't think so, for medicare advantage. you can't keep it. health care is a big issue. we missed it. we didn't do anything about the
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fact that $250 billion is ordered in tests every year that nobody needs. half of that is because of the tort system. the other half is because of the system where we under pay primary care so they don't spend the time with you so when they've not spent the time with you, they walk out the door and order a test that you may or may not need but they're covering themselves because they're not paid to spend the time with you that they should be spending. we're all taught, in medical school, the same thing. if you will listen to the patient, they will tell you what is wrong with them. so by having a great differential diagnosis and spending time with your patients, you can come to a diagnosis a lot of the times without the first test. but we won't pay for that because we've got a price controlled bureaucracy called medicare and medicaid. have you ever asked yourselves the question, why the best doctor gets paid the same as the worst? why? i would think we would want to
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reward excellence and punish incompetence. but medicare sees them all the same. i want the best heart -- if i have to have heart surgery some day, i want the best one doing it. i don't want the worst. and yet we have a system that doesn't differentiate between the quality. why can't we have eh transparent market-to-price -- a transparent market-to-price in quality? why can't you see potential outcomes before you buy instead of after you've gotten it. we allocate almost everything in this country on the basis of markets except health care. we don't let consumers make a value judgment about it. and our other problem, while we talk about health care, is we all assume somebody else is paying for it. that's why the inflation is in it. real wages in oklahoma would be 11% higher over the last three years if we truly had market forces driving health care.
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11% more in real wages? and instead those real wages went to health care costs because health care costs are out of control and no market forces are disciplining the prices, the quality, or the outcome. yes, sir? >> i agree with everything you said about that, but are we going to be able to stop this or are we just going to have to learn to live with it? >> i'm not going to learn to live with it. look, this is being filmed by c-span. so i'm going to get in lots of trouble, but i'm used to it. i believe the plan is for this plan to fail. matter of fact, i know this plan will fail. health insurance is going to be too high. you're going to create what is called adverse selection. anybody that is young and healthy, you'll pay the fine in
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2014 rather than spend it on health insurance. it's sick. because if you get sick, they got to cover you. it doesn't rise to $795 until 2016 as a fine so what's going to happen? the healthy young people are not going to be in the insurance pool. what's going to happen to the people over 40 who are sick? what's going to happen to the cost of their insurance? that's why i think they've designed it to fail. because ultimately they'd like for it to revert back and say, see, we toweled insurance doesn't work. we need -- told you insurance doesn't work. we need a government run, government controlled, single payer health care system. this country has the best health care in the world. the outcomes -- i'm a two-time cancer survivor. colon cancer, medistatic and melanoma. radical surgery why am i alive? the health care system in this country. on average we're 30% better than anywhere else in the world
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on cancer and yet we're going to destroy the system that created that outcome. and it's time that we change it. now, can we? yeah. and here's the thought. what's going happen -- a lot depends on what happens in the election. but you're not going to get it repeeled until -- repaled until you have enough votes to overwrite a veto and that's not likely. so either you have to change the president in 2012 or you be ready for a big fight that says we're not going to send $1 to the government agency that are implementing this. but whether that happens, there's going to be a price to pay. so the american people have to decide. and will everybody get all wobbly-kneed when we play hardball on whether or not we're going to allow the administration to implement this? and that's why they're rushing so fast. they're afraid the election will change things. there's just 3,400 pages right now of new regulation on the
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health care bill. that's about 120th of what's coming. so just think about 70,000 pages of new regulation for your hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, pharmacists. they've got to comply with that. what do you think the cost of complying with that is going to be, let alone the system isn't going to work financially? and to take $540 billion out of medicare to create two new entitlements where we're going to subsidize everybody else's health insurance and create the class act that's long-term care that won't be financially sound? .
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that is the choice. i vote for the american tri sauh style of intervention rather when the socialist file. [applause] >> [inaudible]
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[applause] >> let me stop you there. i want to give you a story. i have been married 42 years. i like the white i got. -- i like the wife i got. if i even thought about that, i would lose her. [laughter] >> it is my understanding that there are five states which have provided the ballot for soldiers overseas to get them in a timely manner. what is being done about that? >> his question is about -- in the 2008 allow actioelection, mr
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troops ballots did not count. they did not get them to them early enough. there is a bill, but there is also oversight. right now based on timing we will have a tough time holding those states accountable. here is what should happen. if the state does not make a ballett available to the troops that are defending our country, there should be attended to consequence in terms of what goes to those states in terms of legitimate government programs. [applause] they should know it ahead of time that we're going to work to make sure that if you are taking away the person who deserves the right more than any of us, then there will be a consequence. yes, sir. speak really loud. >> thank you for what you have
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done for us. when we go to the polls in november, following that up, what source of information can we go to that will allow us to keep your feet and of the fire? -- under the fire? >> that is a great question. you can go to to find that every boat i have passed. -- every vote i have passed. you can go to my web site and read every press release i have put out. you can search the internet if you want to find out a whole bunch of stuff that is not true. [laughter] is a non-partisan
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fact source where you can find out what is going on in the government. especially about your elected representatives. i think the way we make decisions about who we put an office should be on the basis of does it cost them something? when you think about our guys in afghanistan tonight, it is costing them. it may ultimately cost them the supreme sacrifice. for someone to stand up and then did you and say i want to serve you, and yet it is a promotion and race, it does not fit. i have decided in my life i want to go for people who are going to get a pay cut to go search, whether it is my local community or my state rep or congressional representative. because it is really worth
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doing, it is worth some one giving up something to go sir. that is what service is about. it is about sacrifice. it is not about elevating the individual that a serving. the second measuring stick i use is do they agree to term-limit? i think the number one problem we have is not the quality of people that are coming, but the desire to be there forever. that tells me it is above them, not us. their fourth term limits is a wonderful measuring stick -- therefore, term limits is a wonderful measuring sticks to judge. if they will not sign a pledge limiting their term, and they are not about to do it in office.
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q. are obviously not going to get term limits passed by the congress. it is not in their political interests. it is not fair to generalize it, but the only way i can explain its is to generalize it. this is not partisan, but the fact is too often the decisions abouis about what is best for te next election. when we make those decisions, we are hurting america and hurting you. >> is it true that you said newt gingrich would not be a good nominee for president because of his divorces and cannot make the commitment?
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>> new gingrich's one of the smartest men i have ever met. he is great. he is a great thinker. i served under him for years in the house. he is not who i would put as my commanding general in terms of a political role. i think you can make judgments about people's characters based on what their life says not on what they said. hold me accountable on what my actions have been, not what my words are. i will give you a great example. when i went to washington in 1995, the goal was to downsize the cost affect of the congress. the first thing we got into was expanding the committee said that you can hunt after bill clinton rather than oversight.
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i want a leader that once the best for every american and a long-term and is willing to sacrifice themselves and the criticism that comes with that by doing the best thing at every turn. not the thing to make a political party look better. not to look the political opponent look worse. someone that will make the country work better for us all in the long term. and [applause] >> josé is our second amendment? -- house aide is our second amendment? -- how safe is our second amendment? >> if you have had any time at any point in the history of the
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service and you come back to the states and you have not been capable of managing their own affairs, the veterans administration has the right without a hearing or due process without appeals, to take away your second amendment rights. you may not be able to manage your money, but you could certainly hunt squirrels on a weekend. this is the bureaucrats that did this. i have been trying to get that reverse. we're calling to get that first. -- we are going to get that reversed. [applause] >> all of the bill of rights are ours, not just some of them. i will say again that those that serve us, they are more report to them than there are any of us. because they have paid the blood, sweat, and tears to assure they are there. the second point is when it comes to conceal and carry.
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we got 67 votes on that this last year. we will get 60 in the next senate, and you will see that. it is not about guns. it is about freedom. it is about liberty. [applause] i really work closely with gun owners in america. i think they do a wonderful job protecting the second amendment. >> i wanted to go back to the illegal immigrant problem. wouldn't it be resolved if the businesses that hire them will penalize? >> if we enforce the rules on the book today. that was starting to happen at the tail end of 2007 and 2008. >> i would think if they cannot
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get a job, they would not stay here. >> i think that is true. the other question is how many of you are related to an immigrant somewhere in your tree? anybody that does not raise your hand pass to the native american. what is the genius of americans? it is nthat we're not racial. nowhere else in the world is there anything like this. there is nothing wrong with everybody in the world who sees our opportunity and want to come here. what is wrong is how we handle it. what we need to do is figure out what is the best legal immigration policy for us as well. part of that is we has a social -- we have a social safety net that is too lucrative that causes people to percent rate in
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the private economy. we should do the oversight on that. we want to help people who need our help, but we certainly do not want to create dependency. there is a great book. if you that three or four hours you should get it and read it. it is called "the tragedy of american compassion." it gives the history of how we as americans from the time we were settlers to the time of the revolution and all the way up, how we help take care of those that needed our help. you know when we got in trouble? , it's when we started transferring all that to the government. that is when we got inefficient. that is when we got abuse. i am not proposing we eliminate all of our programs, do not get me wrong, but we certainly should fine-tune them to meet the real needs of the people who have real needs, rather than the politically correct you cannot
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say anything about this because you cannot offend someone. [applause] pegg >> would you speculate on the effect of the tea party on congressional membership? >> speculation would be all it is. it is a guess. i think it is healthy that many more people are involved in our political process. i do not care what party they are with. the fact that more people are knowledgeable and involved and aware, that is exactly what our country was built on. remember what reagan said, and this is a paraphrase because i read this quote some work at my staff cannot find the " vervains i will give you might paraphrase. he said freedom is a precious thing, it is not ours by
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inheritance alone. it is never guaranteed. it must be fought for and defended by each and every generation. he was not talking to our military. the very fact that we now have a lot of people interested enough to become involved, the fact that they're making an attempt in the participatory democracy and republic to correct what they see. i do not whknow what the long- term impact will be, but today it is healthy because we have raised awareness. what that says is we want to express the viewpoint and keirh.
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we have to be participants in our freedom or lose it. so you cannot sit back any longer and our country. if you love your grandchildren, you will change what is going on. we have sold them out. we have sold them out in terms of their future. we have hobbled them with debt that they will find almost impossible to raise a family, own a home, own a car, and get an education. that is what we're sending them now. it does that have to be that way. we can reverse it. -- it does not have to be that way. >> what about our tax cuts that
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are set to expire? what about the debt tax going to as high as 55%? if you are estate valued at $1 million, you do not have to on to much property anymore to be called a millionaire, but you still have no money in your pocket. >> his question is about the tax cut and state tax. this is the first time in three weeks i have heard someone say it correctly. notice what the press has done. the press has labeled them the bush tax cuts. the only reason they are expiring is because the majority party would not allow them to continue in the first place when the first pass them. that was the condition the first part on. i do not know what is plan to happen, but most of the economics that i studied at
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oklahoma state university, and i do not care which philosophy it came from, the worst time to raise taxes as when we're in the midst of a recession. it is not make sense that we would raise taxes on the american people. what is happening right now is there is not a clear signal from the leadership of this government that says it is ok to spend. it is ok to invest, we will operate a stable environment. -- we will create a stable environment. that is our problem today. if we were smart, we would have clarified the issue before we came home to and we would have extended all of those tax cuts until we have the time to reassess where we are economically. i cannot tell you what is going to happen on the state tax. it is going to 55%. a lot of the oklahoma million dollars states are guys
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that got a bridge when it costs less than $100 per acre, and now it is worth a whole lot more money and the family is going to pay that. that was bought with after-tax money, not pre-tax money. to me epicene somewhat unfair. we should change our whole tax system. [applause] we have all of these federal employees that do a good job, but you cannot figure out accurately and have to pay your taxes because you will get a different answer. when they cannot figure it out and you cannot figure it out, i think it is time to change. i am looking at you in the blue. you gave us a list of the earmarks, is there anything that can be done to stop them from
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putting earmarks on these bills? >> there is a lot that can be done. transparency is a disinfectant that will cure most of the problems with earmarks. i have never earmarked, i am not going to ever earmark. the reason i do not, is because i do not want to ever have a perceived conflict of interest. remember, a good portion of the earmarks are not competitively bid. in other words, they are sweetheart deals.
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someone is well-connected to get the deal, and you are paying for it, especially if it is not competitively bid. it is not wrong. if an earmark is also rise, at which means it went through a process where a committee of your peers set this is a priority for the nation, we agree so therefore we authorized earmark as something that should be spent, but what happens is most of the time they are not authorized. they are added to appropriation bills. no one ever sees it except for one of the clerks on the appropriation bills committee. the final thing that is wrong with earmarks is that if i have been earmarked in the bill, and i have a sweetheart deal with you and that comes along and all of the send the bill is a stinker, what do i do?
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do i tell you i am sorry? or do i vote for a bill that i would not have otherwise voted for? if it comes to the currency of manipulation and drug addiction to spending. and that is why i steer clear of it. i have been earmarked transparency bill that they will try to block. i will a mentally when that in the next year or two. -- i will even chilly wind that in the next year or two -- i will eventually win tha tit in the next year or two. [applause] >> i would like to thank you for your principles. i would like to thank you for your handling of the question of supreme court justice elena
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kagan. it was excellent. [applause] excuse me for beating a dead horse, but i cannot leave the border issue. it seems like what was said is partially resolved. i am content that may be something as 20% resolved, but i am still not satisfied with all of these people coming in the across the border and congress's inability to stop it. >> they have the ability to stop it. they do no>> they do not have tf to stop it. i would like to put it this way, if you working, what would you do to stop the people coming in illegally? >> i would double fence the
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border patrol. i would put border patrol where we need it. i would change the vis entry exit system where if someone breaks are a lot in terms of staying here longer we know where they are, and as soon as they do not report, then they're automatically ejected. when you catch illegal alien who is here illegally violating the law, you give them a limited time for a hearing but they stay under custody until then. we do not do any of that. if you go down to the border, once they catch them, most it deported but most get an arraignment day and they say come back. where is the common sense? in other words, principles.
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first principle, the country cannot survive if it cannot control its border. 20% of the people coming across the border are from non-hispanic origin. that should give you a great concern. what do we need to fix it? it is not hard to fix it. it is mechanical to fix the border. it is more than mechanical to fix the visa system, but it is mechanical to fix the border. the reason it has not gotten fixed is it has not been a priority of the past two presidents. i would imagine it would pay a priority for the next president. >> are you doing anything to get this implemented? >> i cannot get it implemented because i have no power. if you tell me, we're going to have the power to do something about that, i think you would see something done about it. it goes back, you have to fix
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the core problem. the core problem is you got not have any control over the border. peggy fix the drain pipe, a week goes away. -- if you fix the drain pipe, the leak goes away. >> is there anything we can do as individuals to help anything other than election time? >> a share. -- sure. how many of you in this room knows somebody outside of oklahoma? have you talked to them about your feelings? the only thing they can do is
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laugh at you or get mad it you, but neither of those are really painful. the fact is that everybody in this room has a much more influence than you think you have the. among your neighbors, co- workers, employers, families. the question is, had you done the job to bring three-alarm fire that we're under to their awareness? you can do that. you could work on other campaign somewhere. with the internet the way it is today and loans the way they are to where you get unlimited calling, you could be a tremendous help to someone whether they are democrat or republican who you truly believe is running to fix the real problems we have a. guess what?
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most districts think they're doing ok. what is the problem? the problem is the action in washington is very different than the words at home. until you are informed about how we actually vote and what we actually do, you cannot trust us. people who are not having a town hall meetings and putting themselves in front of the electorate, they should be wary. that is our obligation to listen. i think you have a whole lot more power than you think you have a. go use it. >> i know for me, we have spent most of our lives trying to build our business. i milkeknow most of the people sitting here are like that.
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then remove yourself always politically, but then when you finally say what kind of message are we and right now, then you have to hold all lot of different parties accountable for where we are at. this is like the border problem. that has been there more than bush and obama. there are so many banks that have never been reconciled. they have been an issue for quite some time. it is like the pork in all of these bills. ithis is my own objective. i will give you this bill if you give me that bill, because these people down here will pay for it. that is a problem. >> nobody ever said freedom was easy.
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>> we are looking to you guys to take care of things because we took you in that place to do that. you are like a band-aid on a big problem. you are a little guy trying to do the right thing, and all these other people -- there are more [inaudible] >> i hear your frustration. why do you think i have a flat forehead? i have been eating it up against the wall. -- beating it up against a flat wall.
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our founders designed the system so when it really gets off tilt, more people will get involved. we're really all tilt right now. fiscally, born policy, culturally, we are way off tilt. this is not the america that i signed up for, it is something different, but as you express the foundation's -- if i felt the way you did, i would come home. i think our grandkids are worth of frustration and irritation that goes from having a free republic. well we have to do is change. remember what sam adams said, and this is another pair of race. it is not take the majority to change things, it takes the committed few to stress the brush fires of change. there have been several others fighting, we are about to get
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things where we might start winning. do you realized that if there is 41 true fiscal conservatives in the senate, nothing bad will happen t a financially? -- nothing bad will happen to you financially? then they will have to work with us. i am willing to work with anybody. i do not care what party they are and, as long as we're both looking at what is the best thing in the long-term for america and reject what is the best short-term thing for my political career is. i hear your frustration. i am there. i did not have any greater when i went to washington 5.5 years
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ago. i have earned every one of them. -- i did not have any grey hair for when i went to washington 5.5 years ago. >> the mosque at ground zero. what can be done to stop it? >> i do not know i can answer your question about what can be done. under our constitution that is a protected right. now, i think a better question might be the is it this is about reconciliation and coming together, and it is creating this kind of food, why would they want to continue to do with sex if they want to continue to do it, it would make me doubt the sincerity about what the purpose of the mosque is. there is a legal question, but the more practical question is why would you continue to do this and is the most insensitive
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thing i can think about that someone would do who claims they want to reconcile. some of the fights my wife and i have had, if i use that line with her i would get hit by a frying pan. legally they can do it. if they're smart and love our country, they will not. it is that simple. i tend to over simplify things. we have time for one more question. yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] is there anything you could do in congress to support [inaudible] >> that is a great question. it concerns me also.
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the first is out we ignore our own responsibilities and enforce the law, and we'lhen we are not enforcing the law, we're going after someone who is trying to. more importantly is what is the real glue that binds us to other? what is the real clue? the real clue that binds us together is we all know in this country versus any other comment your shot at justice is better here than anywhere else in the world. that is because we have blind justice, or attempted blind justice. their role of what is even. when we start picking what laws we will enforce and what we will not at the federal government level, you are putting assault and on that clue that will unloosed this country. as soon as you get used to the fact, and it is not just once --
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if you think about the price for bondholders when chrysler went bankrupt, totally against the law. when you think about voting rights not being protected and philadelphia, you have scuttled the law. when you think about clampdown on mortgages for financial institutions to make people have to pay less, even though they have a contract to said they're obligated to pay something -- do you know what happens when we start seeing that? restart think we can do it to -- as we start thinking we can do it also. the rule of law, the things that set us apart from almost every other new should is a consistent hard application of fairness and application of the law. when our leaders are doing that, it sends a tremendous signal that makes me shake, because to me that means they have barely
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missed what america's all about. they have really miss it. he may have heard something tonight you absolutely disagree with. you owe me an e-mail if you do, because that is how i hear from you. a lot of time someone who disagrees will not stand up around their community and say it. and make take me two or three months to get back from you, but i guarantee i will hear it and read it and get an answer. god bless you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> tomorrow the u.s. senate
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impeachment trial committee begins the hearing before u.s. district court judge thomas porteous. watched a slide on c-span2 at 8:00 eastern. -- watch this live on c-span2 at 8:00 eastern. and bernie sanders takes conferencquestions at a live tol meeting in vermont. >> i want to thank to resetherer
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the wonderful dinner we are having tonight. thank you very much. [applause] i want to thank the very fine panel we have appear as well. we do a lot of town hall meetings. we want to hear your comments and questions, but as all of you understand, there is a direct corniconnection between what gon in washington and what goes on locally. we have local people come forward and talk a little bit about the issues they are working on. their hopes for the future. we tried to combine that with what is going on in the country. but we would hear from you is very briefly and number of local people will talk about some of the work they're doing.
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we're very pleased to have a great panel. i want to begin by welcoming to the podium a gentleman that many of you know, the speaker of the vermont house of representatives, chaps smit smi. [applause] >> it is a pleasure to welcome new, not only to the vfw but i home town. -- but my home town. i want to talk about what the work in washington has meant to us. as 2008 unfolded, we found ourselves in profound financial difficulty. how we have not experienced at
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any time in recent history the pressures that we were feeling in our state revenues, the state revenue declines were profound. hundreds of millions of dollars. at the same time, many of us were out of work. we are losing our health care, feeling outhe pressure of whether we would have enough teachers in the schools. had the recovery act not been passed, we would have been laying off hundreds and hundreds of people. we would not have been able to help people who no longer had jobs find their health-care. over the last two years, and hundreds of millions of dollars that have been brought into vermont to help us with this has meant that people have jobs,
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health care, and have the support they need and the schools they need for the future. not only that, the recovery and reinvestment act has also given us the investment that is needed so that we will have a strong future. we have put over $130 million of extra federal dollars into our transportation infrastructure over the last two years. not only does the strength and our transportation infrastructure, but it put people back to work with it would not have been at work before. [applause] the other thing that i want to say it is it has also allowed us to put into place infrastructure for the future around ron and
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and help information technology. it has given us what we needed, and i want to thank you for that. [applause] >> thank you for the excellent work you're doing in model year. all of their representatives here have also done a great job. -- thank you for the excellent work you are doing here and not kilin month hillia. >> it is a real honor to be here and speak with such a distinguished senator. and the plan is now somewhere between 15% and 18%. in johnson it is between 10% and
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12%. without the help that woulwe got from washington, it would have been 25%. one of the things i do want to talk about is the tax payments are also going up. the tenor of the discussion and vermont is different from the tenor of the discussion in washington, d.c. i would much rather be a politician and vermont then be a politician where bernie has to be a politician. i admire bernie for the way she has managed to rise above -- he has managed to rise above the nasty politics. the thing i am most proud of is we can run our primary with five candidates to do not ever go at each other personally in any way. in the end, respect to the
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decision of the voters. thank you for having us. [applause] >> there is a lot to talk about, and we're certainly going to talk about health care this evening and where we have gone and where we want to go, but i want to mention one of the positive development that is taking place in this county in the last few years has been the establishment of a new community health centers affiliated with the hospital. [applause] when we talk about the health care crisis, one of the issues we understand is a major concern is that all over this country, not only the people that do not help help insurance, even people with insurance, cannot get the primary health care they need.
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in the last seven years we have been working very hard with communities all over the state, including morris feville. now and vermont, per capita, more people utilize community health centers and every other than every other state in america. i want the director to say a few words about what is going on here. [applause] >> i have to agree that it is a little warm here. i have been here for 3.5 years. and when i came on board we had a federal health center that was a look alike. we went through our process to ensure we were financially
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stable to provide health care for the community and county. we see 60% of the county. we see over 50,000 patient encounters per year. if we have not seen d not receia higher classification, we would have been out of business. to give you a good example, i employ 150 employees within this county. we have 113 covered lives on the medical benefits. if you do the simple math, in about six years we will be at 100% of our premium. we're in the same boat as an employer as you the patients in the community. we have to be very diligent as to what we do and how we service health care. you know, the positions in the
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community, it is still family practice. we have on mondays a woman ob/gyn. we will also open and dental clinic for the community. -- we will also be opening a dental clinic for the community. [applause] we're getting the equipment assembled now as i speak. we will start construction september 13. we will work very quickly to open up that service. we're talking dental, behavior health and wellness, and you are talking primary care. the focus of primary-care should now be printpreventative medici. we need to focus on helping you as patients, providing health
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and wellness. that is what we're about, and we welcome senator sanders and everything he has done that. [applause] >> sometimes it is very easy for us to choose not to see the pain that is all around us that our neighbors are experiencing. as we sit here on this wonderful day in vermont, there are people not far from here wondering about how they will get food for tomorrow. people that are wondering where they will be sleeping tomorrow night. there are people that are terribly worried about how they will be able to provide the most basic need for their care. we must never forget that reality. just a few days ago i was here in the area and i went to the
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community action council and tated was some of the few people -- and i talked to some of the people. i talked to glory cunningham. -- laurie cunningham. i wanted her to say a few words. [applause] >> thank you, senator. i appreciate the opportunity. for the last two months alone i have worked with 60 families. 37 of those families have been single moms or parents homeless with children. literally living and other people's homes and their on their coaches trying to survive. a lot of it is they cannot find work.
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the unemployment benefits have run out and they do not know what to do. unfortunately some of the programs we have to help people get into apartments, you have to be able to use sustain the apartments before we can spend money to get them in. if they do not have a job, it is not the money and we cannot help them. we have to spend time trying to help them build a ready maesumed a job. it is incredible. that is only two months that i have been here. you have people who come in with their heads hung very low because they are ashamed that they have to ask for help. there is a lot out there. but we need to help our own people. we need to get them house, said, and need to get them jobs. that is the most important thing
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right now. [applause] thank you. >> not only do we have a moral responsibility to make sure that the least amongst us is provided for, but it is also important to remember that there are a lot of elderly people in our society, many of whom are living on fixed incomes and in of a lot of money, and we have an obligation to make sure they're doing well. you have a wonderful senior center. i wanted the director of the county meals on wheels program to say a few words. [applause] >> i am a lot shorter than everyone else. and thank you. we provide meals to individuals over 60 and those under 60 with
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the disability. people come to our program for a variety of reasons. either they happen six or just came home from the hospital where they cannot provide their own food due to a mental or physical limitations. we are definitely seeing an increased need because of the economy and push for more community-based care. this year we're working on having our third record year in row for meals, which is pretty unheard of. [applause] right now we're working on that serving a 2% or 3% more than that this year. it is definitely a great program to work for. we're having more struggles as far as financing goes. the current demands, the level of funding is not keeping pace, but we live in a wonderful
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community and i want to extend my gratitude to the community for stepping of in our fund- raisers and things like that and providing volunteers. you are the real reason we're able to do what we do. just a few things i want to talk about. individuals enter our program for many reasons, but income definitely plays a major role in this. currently 46% of our home delivery clients make less than $902 per month. less than 10,000 per year. we can obviously see where there would be struggles for them. also, many of the recipients are looking for assistance with items such as fuel and prescription drugs, as well as food. we have had to make more and more referrals for people than ever before. these are people that have never had to call and are now struggling. i will give you one example to
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make it more real for you. last winter one of our drivers and to deliver a meal and a person was outside cutting of old shares and furnitures and things that he did burn. he had run out of fuel and had no means to get it. we were able to make peripheral to the united way program. i am seeing more and more of these stories every day. we do not charge for our service. and we have a donation of $3 per mail. it is strictly a donation. i have had numerous reports from drivers who told me that people are saying maybe i should not get the meal. i used to be able to give a donation, i am not able to give a donation anymore but i still need the food. i have never had anybody who feels it would not be able to give any more.
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in showing the really hard times that people are having and they're making tough decisions between prescription drugs, food, fuel, and those types of things. i want to extend our gratitude to bernie sanders for helping us secure funds to purchase kitchen equipment. thank you. [applause] >> i am on 5 different committees. one of the committees that i very much wanted to be on was the veterans committee. the reason for that is i believe that for many years our country tragically did not keep pafaith with the promises and that made to veterans. there should be no disagreement
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that when a man or woman put his or her life on the line to defend our country, that when they come home, they get all of the benefits to which they are entitled. [applause] i am going to talk about that later, but i am very proud to have with us this evening, al brown. she is the state white commander of the vermont -- he is the statewide commander of the vermont vfw. [applause] >> i want to thank senator sanders for all you have done for the veterans. he has done a lot. there is a new satellite clinic that just opened in newport that
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allows the veterans to go to the clinic, rather than driving all the way to write river junction -- white river junction. he has worked for housing for homeless veterans. we need to help them all. we're working to remind the government [inaudible] when i retired from the military 15 years ago, i did not make i would say the old ones. i've got several hot younyoung f
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military people that have their combat patch on their shoulder, that had more military time than me. they were proud of the job they had done. the government needs to take care of these people. the traumatic brain injury, which is the signature into rate for those coming in, it needs to be studied very carefully and taking care of these people. we have female veterans out there. the only females that many of the older ones ran into where the nurses. 10 percent of the acting --
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active family force is e-mails. they need care. they are showing up in larger numbers at white river. i see them there. their issues are little different from the men. we are working toward that. they are getting ready to open up the ladies clinic down there. [applause] i congratulate the state of vermont for all they have given. [applause] >> as all of you know, a few months ago the congress passed health care reform. in my view it as a step forward. it will provide health insurance for some 30 million more americans.
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we put billions of dollars into disease prevention so that we can begin to keep people healthy rather than spending a fortune treating them after they are very sick, and we have also doubled the number of community health centers throughout the country, among other things. i will be very honest with you and tell you that there yet remains a lot more to be done. in my view, and i feel this very strongly, we must look at health care as a right for every man, woman, and child, and not a privilege. [applause] . .
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[applause] marie is a registered nurse at the largest hospital in the state of vermont and a member of the nurses union there and one of the leaders for the health care for human rights campaign. please come up. [applause]
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>> thank you. so glad to see all of you here. i have been a nurse for 25 years in vermont. i started my career at half the hospital. i also had the fortune to work at the greensboro home under days. -- dave. [applause] i will be stepping into the role as a professional and will leave working for many years not just on health care reform. i'd like to point out the worker center. you can ask questions about how you can work with us in this
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next push to make sure we have all we need to complete the plush for all the health care reforms in the state of vermont. could you raise your hand or stand up? [applause] there will be petitions that you can sign. health care worker like myself work everyday. we know how a devastating what the health care is to all of you.
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we supported our own colleagues as they struggled to care for these children. parents unable to take time away from their jobs because they may lose their health insurance. we want to help figure out how to work on this. insurance companies will not pay for all the necessary supplies. what we have learned to this struggle as health care professionals and what we presume to be on a table -- unattainable is most certainly attainable when we have organized effort by working together.
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the vermont federation of health professionals, we began working with hospitals to create a positive change with the vermont workers center and our community. asian safety has improved. we were not only able to add hundreds of [inaudible] but now have won the highest nurse a vacancy rates in the country. all of us in this room can accomplish this using principles of health care and some of health care for profit. [applause]
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what we need to do is get organized in every county and community. we went to follow through to make the commitment to health care to be a human rights. at the end of this meeting, please sign the petitions. find them, get them to 10 people, have them give them to 10 people. we will present them to the legislators at the beginning of the session at the end of break ago all of the work will have got a crush the state of vermont has made a huge difference. we have all worked on this campaign over and over again. it is because of this work that we were able to give the bill passed this year.
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it is part of making history in vermont. thank you. [applause] >> what i would like to do now is that i will chat for a little bit. i will talk about where we are as a nation, where we have come from, how we have gotten to the place where we are right now, and the place where i think we should be going with some of the work i have. what do -- work i have been doing. i would like to hear some of your questions and comments. i want you to go back about 18 months and think about where we were as a nation in december 2008. if you think about it, what you will remember is that at that particular moment in american
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history, we were losing about 700,000 jobs per month. 700,000 jobs which is just an unbelievable, unprecedented number in the recent history of this company. perhaps even more frightening because of degree the, the recklessness come and the illegal behavior of people on wall street, the financial system was hovering on the edge of collapse. there were economists who believe that it was quite possible that the american financial system could collapse and with that, bring down the world financial system and a plunge us in to perhaps the worst depression in the modern world history. ases celebu remember, in the 1930's we have 25% unemployment and there were some who thought the situation might get even worse than that.
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today, 18 months later, and i'm not here to tell you that by any stretch of the imagination that things are going well. they are not. the economy is in very, very difficult straits. our financial system is not where it should be. we can all agree that there is an element of stability and set of losing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs per month. we are gaining some, but nowhere near enough. we are making some progress, but much more needs to be done. that is what i want to talk about. from the economic point of view what congress the to do, the answer is this -- we have to create millions and billions of good paying jobs and we need to do it as soon as you possibly can. [applause]
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let me tell you how i think we can do it and how i think we can pay for that. if you drive around the state of vermont will the two things. number one, we have a great deal of the infrastructure needs. what do i mean by that? infrastructure is roads, bridges, waste water plants, water systems, solar, public transportation, the railroads on which are trained to run. in the bigger cities, subway systems. this is airports. according to the american society of civil engineers, this country needs in the next five years to invest $2.20 trillion to rebuild our infrastructure.
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$2.20 trillion. in my view, what we need to do right now if we're going to be competitive in it -- internationally, if we are going to rebuild the upper structure, we will be putting millions of people back to work. [applause] this was mentioned a moment ago. when you drive around vermont, sometimes you get angry because someone is holding up a stop sign because they are doing road construction. you know what? that is a good thing. we are beginning to rebuild the road system which of long been neglected. right now as a result of the stimulus package alone, we're going to rebuild 20 bridges in the state of vermont. we're putting more money into our roads and bridges than any time in the history of the state of rabat. we are -- in the history of of
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vermont. we are putting people to work. as a result of the stimulus package, 70% of their work comes from that. they have gone from 31 jobs to 38 dropped. but without but if there was no stimulus package? there would have the been massive layoffs in the construction company. we are making progress, but we have a long way to go. you know about the 1927 flood. it wiped out a lot of bridges and some of them have not been rebuilt since. the remark -- the vermont department of transportation will tell you. we have water systems no longer working well. some of these go back to the civil war. let's invest in our water system. last week, i was on the phone with big -- with a guy from the
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national rail association. vermont got $50 million to start rebuilding our rails so we should -- so we could have trains going faster than 15 miles per hour. [applause] the got hung up in some bureaucracy. i think that $50 million will be freed up and we will have people working to rebuild our rail system so we have trains going at a decent speed. if you go to europe, japan, china, you are seeing high-speed rail. we need to invest in real and improved our airports. we need to do those things. let's do it now and create jobs. some of the main that as a nation we are spending $350 billion every single year importing oil from saudi arabia and other foreign countries.
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i lived in saudi arabia about 10 years ago. the royal family there is doing just fine. do not worry about them. they are the wealthiest family in the world. they do not need more money. i think it is high time we stopped investing in saudi arabia and start investing in energy in the united states of america. [applause] what should we be doing? what are we doing? again, we are making some progress but not enough. all of you should be very proud that the state of vermont is leading the united states of america in terms of energy efficiency. much more needs to be done. right now because of the stimulus package, this uses four kinds of energy. our member speaking to two senior citizens that were living
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in a really old home. they would heat their home and the walls would go straight through the windows and the roof. from what the resolution, they are saving 40% on their fuel bill. they're helping us move to energy independence. there are helping us reverse greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. that is precisely what we have to do. there's the issue of sustainable energy. we could make in terms of win, d, geothermal, and others. according to the secretary of energy, ken salazar, if we simply utilize solar thermal, in
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the southwest of this country in nevada, california, arizona, we could provide 29% of the electricity that american households consumed. can you imagine that? just want technology. warre beginning to see the of this all around the state. we were able to bring in more people bring in solar. we have 45 schools and in this state that are being heated by biomass. when we do that, we create cut greenhouse gas emissions. we do not have to support the king of saudi arabia and get ourselves involved in wars. [applause]
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when we talked are creating jobs and this is an issue that needs serious debate. when you go shopping in dubai a product, where, in most instances, is that product manufactured? that is right. you do not have to be a ph.d. in economics to understand that we are never going to have a strong economy with the vast majority of the product we by and i'm not talking about sneakers, pants, shirts, but what we need to see as a nation, we lost 24% of our manufacturing jobs in that 8 your time.
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right now, we have large corporations who are thinking about this equation. why do i want to invest in the state of vermont? white or want to invest in america? why should i do that? i should throw workers out on the street, move to china, pay them back to cents an hour. the reason they can do that is over the years, i have to say this again, my very strong opposition to this disastrous trade policy. do you know what permanent trade relations with china are? these were pushed what corporate america so they could hire people for pennies on the hour to produce the product and bring
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them here. when you go to a store, some of them are manic -- may be factored in bangladesh. there are made by a large buy young woman who lived in rural bangladesh and work in factories in the city. the good news is that the minimum wage in bangladesh has recently doubled. the bad news is that it went up to 21cents an hour cents. should america be asked to compete against these people? i do not think so. we need to show that if you want us to purchase your product that it is damn well time to produce them here in the u.s. [applause]
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the corporations have downsized and downsized. when the serious problem is that they are unable to get affordable loans. this is true all over the country. they cannot get the loans they need in order to expand and hire new workers. we need to be supportive of small businesses and make sure they get the capital that they need. we have a $13 trillion debt. we have a $1.40 trillion deficit. how will we pay for this fax we have a very serious -- how will we pay for this?
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we have a very serious debt situation. i want to think -- i want you to dig about how we got here in the first place. under bush, we went to work under two -- in the two countries but we forgot to pay for them. by the end of this will probably cost $3 trillion along. over the last eight years under bush, we thought it was a good idea to give huge tax breaks to some of the wealthiest people in this country. let me give you a couple of examples. right now, the estimate is that we lose about $100 billion per year which is serious number of wealthy individuals and corporations who move toward tax havens in the cayman islands and bermuda. there is a picture we have in the budget committee which is a
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four story building in the cayman islands, and normal size building, that building houses 18,000 corporations. how does that house 18,000 corporations? all it is is a postal address for all these companies. it is a scam. they use it to avoid paying taxes in america. i will be damned about giving these corporations contracts. when the income gap is growing wider, we have got to do away with all the tax breaks and ask they pay their fair share of taxes. [applause]
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let me give you one example. exxonmobil is the most profitable corporation in the history of the world. when we pay $4 per gallon for gas, they are doing just fine. last year come in through the exxonmobil had a bad year. they made less money. they only made $90 billion. it was a bad year ago -- the only made $19 billion. tough times. for exxonmobil, there was some good news. $90 billion in profit, guess how much they paid in taxes? who wants to guess? it was worse than zero.
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they got by $156 -- a $156 million refund from the irs. this is what is going to happen when i get back to washington. this is what the debate will be about. i hope you will get actively involved. there are some of us who say our economy is in crisis and we have got to create jobs that are desperately needed. let the same time, we also recognize that there is a serious deficit problem and a national debt problem that must be addressed. some believe we can be both. on the other hand, there are people who come forward, and this is what the debate will be about, we have a $13 trillion debt and i am sorry to hear your story of about veterans, but you know what?
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we have a huge debt. too bad if they have people sleeping on the street, we did not have enough money. because of our deficit and our debt, this is what we are going to have to do. we will have to cut social security or privatized social security. that is what we have to do because i have a national debt. i do not believe it for a second. not for one second. [applause] at a time when corporate america continues to make huge profits and walls to give their ceo huge bonuses and a time when the top 1% earned more income than the bottom 50%, it will not be veterans or working people or
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the four that have to pay the price. let those guys start paying their fair share. [applause] you will hear a lot about social security. turn on the television tonight and you will hear the following. >"social security is going bankrupt. all of you young people, do not have any illusions that social security will be there for you. we showed at the very least raise the retirement age to 70." almost all republicans believe that. let me tell you the truth about social security. social security is not going bankrupt. according to the congressional budget office, the people who study this, according to the
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social security ministration, social minute -- social security can pay out every benefit of it to every eligible american until the year 2039. got it? for the next 29 years, every american entitled to social security, the elderly, disabled, winnows, and orchids can get 100% for the next 29 years. social security today as a $2.50 trillion surplus in its trust fund which is expected to go up to $4 trillion in a few years. we do not need to cut back on social security. what happens in 200039 if we do not do anything? -- in 2039?
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if we do nothing now, they will only be able to pay out 80%. in 29 years, not tomorrow, the answer is that if someone is a millionaire and makes $106,000, they pay the same amount into the social security trust fund because there is a ceiling at hundred $6,000. -- at $106,000. if you raise the ceiling, you solve the problem which is exactly what we should do. [applause] the hatred that we see in politics for social security -- do you know if this is based on? it is based on the back of social security is doing exactly what it was supposed to do. it is working. there are some people from an
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ideological point of view who really government. they do not want the government to do anything. they do not believe these people say, "we want to go back to the constitution." they're talking about abolishing medicare, medicaid, the veterans administration, and social security. well, i respectfully disagree with that [applause] then. social security has worked for 75 years. with modest changes in the work for another 75 years. what really gets me, and i want to stay on social security for a moment, we have gone through some bad times. in the midst of all about, how many americans who were on social security did not get every penny they were entitled to? their iras went down and all
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these people were hurting. every person on social security that every nickel he or she was entitled to. the administrative costs are 1% and we need to stand up and out of the cost -- cut social security. [applause] alright. we have covered a lot of territory. i know there are a lot of issues on your mind. there are others i did not get to. we have a couple of microphones. phil, do you have one? we will grab a few microphones. will you be running around? why delay, that gentleman with the funny looking thing is with c-span. you are on national television. i forgot to tell you. behave.
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if people want to ask a question or give a comment, give us your name and try to be brief. >> i have a comment on the economy. i have worked for many years as a waitress in a nearby town. as most people know, we get less our leave wages than minimum wage, less than half. income is too dependent. i have been able to make a satisfactory living for a number of years. with man come been derived from tips, i have to report my tips to the employer which then goes to the irs. i am being taxed on man come.
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-- on my income. with the economy, i can say that last year our business was really down. us commoners -- less customer spending less money and to been less. this last year, the facts have been even more dramatic. if i looked into my records for five years, i am making maybe two-thirds the and come in the same job in the same town. people are not going out. they are not spending. it is a result the things that have happened in years past. i do not see any light at the end of the total except that with the changes in the policies that the u.s. government is an acting right now. i am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. thank you for your time. [applause] >> in terms of seeing light at
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the end of the tunnel, we have a long way to go. the stimulus package is done. the economy will remain serious trouble. in vermont we created about 7000 jobs. some of those people may have gone to your restaurant. we're making some progress, what we have a long way to go. >> hello? there we go. republican john mitchell was quoted recently about what should be done about climate change. his response was, "it should be ignored. flat out ignored." how do we convince these people
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that climate changes real and that it is our greatest challenge for the human race? >> thank you. with regards to the issue of climate change, and i am on the environmental and energy committee. on one hand you have every scientific organization in america and in the world that believes that global warming is real and that in almost all likelihood it is created by human beings through carbon emissions. you have the cia and defense department recognizing the reality of global warming. when people do not have water and they cannot grow food, it
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leads to war. you have the cia, the department of defense, department of agriculture, the epa, virtually all of our scientists say global warming is real. another sign -- on the other side you have glenn beck who disagrees. the scientific community over here and glenn beck over here. i agree with the scientific community. i think we have the potential right now if we move aggressively -- china, india, europe will have to be involved. here is what we can do. if we transform our energy
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system and if we are leaders in the world and helping people move to energy sufficiency, we create jobs in the united states and we can show the rest of the world how to move in that direction. we came up with this. we will lose the entire industry of wind and solar if we do not move aggressively. i believe we have the potential to be a leader in the world and we would be much safer than we would otherwise be. that is what we need to do.
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>> when you go to the store to get shoes, clothes -- >> is the microphone on? >> when you go to the store on main street and the vermont, you pay a sales tax. what about a 1% sales tax or security transfers on wall street? >> what he is talking you out is an idea that has been around for a number of years that makes sense. what he is talking about is a transaction fee on wall street. huge amounts of stocks are bought and sold every single day. they're people speculated over the place.
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we will probably dampened speculation. >> my name is al cohen. before the recession, will serve about 20,000 people. since the recession we have served about 150,000 the meals and this year we will serve 200,000 meals. people who are accessing different kinds of housing counseling and those who are homeless.
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as a result of stimulus funds, we were able to meet a lot of those needs of the last year- and-a-half. unfortunately, at the end of september, and number of those grants are over. it is in a way getting worse. we will not be able to serve those people if we lose the stimulus money. >> that is what the debate is going to be about. do we create jobs as we have with community action? how many guys the have working on memorization right now are -- whether is asian right now? -- weatherization right now?
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>> three. >> if i have a say, we will continue to fund those programs. >> i want to think the dfw. i am an army brat. i am proud to be here. thank you. care humane health rights campaign. it is an exciting time. the debate is going on right now in this nation. there is some much opposition. as we debate, a lot of people are suffering and dying. my question is, as we in vermont and we in the nation, and i believe we will, we will be the focus of a lot of attention. that anchor you were talking about with social security will be here for health care. there will be a lot of money behind the anchor.
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what do we do? >> that is an excellent point. let me turn to what alan was talking about. the most significant dynamic that we have to understand about how politics take place in washington is that the only believable power, much greater than you can never understand because you are not there, is the power of big money. it is a bad situation today and it is getting worse and worse. here are some examples. the reason that we are in the midst of the economic crisis we are in right now, in my view come is the regulation of wall street. here is what alan greenspan and all those wall street guys said. if you deregulate us, if you allow commercial banks to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, we will have all this capital and we will create all of this wealth.
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it will be good for the united states of america. well, i was on the house financial-services committee. and i never, ever believed one word of that. i helped lead the of -- opposition to regulation. during a 10-year period, wall street spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying in order to get the regulation. last year alone, if you can believe this, after wall street caused the horrendous recession we are in now, millions of people losing their jobs, last year alone, wall street spent $300 million on lobbying and campaign contributions to make sure that congress left them alone so they could continue to do their wonderful, honest work.
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okay? alan, when you talk about what goes on in washington, you have to understand, we're taking on people who have more money than you can imagine, hundreds of billions of dollars. as bad as that situation is, you have noticed, that a number of months ago in the supreme court in its "wisdom" passed a decision 5-4 regarding citizens united. did any of you follow that? this is making a bad situation worse. the supreme court decided that corporations were people. because corporations are people, they are entitled to the same first amendment constitutional rights that you argue you are entitled to participate in the political process. you, as individual, are entitled
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to make giving contributions and so is goldman sachs. so as bank of america. they are little people like you and me. what is now happening and then what they can do, they can set up phony groups like citizens for a better vermont. they can use millions of millions of dollars on tv campaign ads and we will never know who is paying for them. it is a phony group funded by big money. we have millionaires and billionaires of large corporations that will spend in this campaign hundreds of millions of dollars and no one will know who they are. i will ask you a question. about having as cost-effective, high-quality health care system which guarantees health care for the
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man, woman, and a child the way to go is a medicare for all single payer system. if vermont leads the country, you are right that we will be deluged by lobbyists and big money. if we can show that a medicare for all single payer system will work, then there is new hampshire, calif., and the rest of the country will come. that is why we're doing is so important. what do we do? the answer is big money. that is the only way i know how to fight back is educating. when you knock on doors, you explain to people, you make it clear who the opponents are. there are people like they're making billions of billions of dollars off of human misery. in this country, do you know how
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many americans died because they did not get to read dr. long time? 45,000. -- because they could not get to a doctor on time? 45,000. we have a system designed to make profits for the insurance company. there is a reason we pay the highest price in the world for prescription drugs and that is because they do not want a strong non-profit system. will they find us? yes, they will. he need to give real support to the elected officials who have the guts to stand up to these people. [applause] the last point i want to make on health care of and then i will go to any cedric people want, people say this single payer is the radical idea. do you know what medicare is?
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it is a single payer medicare system for senior citizens. in our state is called the doctor dinosaur program. it is a single pair program for children. do you know what the -- i had an interesting dialogue with john mccain. he is on the same committee that i am on and we talk about veterans' health care. he is aware that the veterans administration in a socialized health-care system that does a good job for our veterans. right? well, we hate the government. you have the va, doctor dinosaur, medicaid, and they worked pretty well. when you are over 18 and under 65, you have problems. that is a problem we need to resolve.
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>> i worked as a volunteer. there is a community just as program. they are doing a fantastic job. when i was a volunteer, i sought elderly people who came in there from 8 their food, they were by -- very quiet, and polite, and they had gone. they have nothing left for food. [applause] >> there are thousands of people
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in this state that are not necessarily homeless. when you pay 50% of your income for housing, you have insurance for your car, pay for your car, you have to eat, pay for the electorate, and telephone. the issue of affordable housing is a very important issue. when we talk about this, we need to put people to work. we have a serious problem. we need to create jobs for affordable housing as well. >> i add a question. where the majority of jobs in vermont boeing to jobs -- going to people outside of vermont. i worked in a resort town up until eight months ago. the construction worker from from canada, mass., and international students.
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>> i do not know the answer. they're working in the connecticut and that's what happens. you get a job and they bring in their own people. this is an issue that concerned me. immigration in this country is an issue that needs to be discussed in a very serious way. we had programs called guest worker programs. do you know what those are? if the company says we need a certain type of employee and we cannot talk -- cannot find that type of employee in the u.s., and we'd go to russia or someplace else or engineers or scientists. resorts use that for a variety of reasons. he will be shocked to know that some years ago from a year in
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the state of vermont, apparently we do not have people who can ski instructors. did you know that? we have no one here who knows anything about skis. therefore, correct me if i'm wrong, but we bring in people from all over the world to be ski instructors. is that correct? [laughter] those programs for guest workers are very often exploited by employers. why did they do that? they can bring people from abroad and pay them less than they would american workers. we fought that. we are making it a little bit of progress in saying, especially in the middle of a recession. exxonmobil, a couple of years ago they needed welders.
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the brought in a welder from india because obviously we do not have anyone in america capable of welding, right? absurd. if a company really, really cannot find someone for a specific job, that is fine. i do not have a problem with that. there are a lot of workers were incapable doing that work and they should be hired here first. ok. a few more questions. >> my name is scott johnson. i run a family center. i think you are aware there is a crisis in child care brewing not only in vermont across the country. we have 94 programs, of which 38 are licensed and 56 are registered homes meeting about 75% -- that is meeting about 75% of the need.
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we have lost two license centers and up to as many as 66 slots. a number of registered homes has a drop from 65 to 56 in the same amount of time. we need your help. >> you have my health, scott. you will continue to have my help. they do a fantastic job. the deal with low-income people. it is child care, literacy programs, good parenting skills. they do it all under one roof. they do it in a very human way. we have done our best to bring all the money we can in. when the major issues we did not talk about is precisely that -- child care. a couple of years ago, i was talking to a group and i did some research.
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80% of the women in the state of vermont who have kids and the age of five go to work. this is not correct. it was something like that. for all kinds of obvious reasons, most of the families you know in the middle class, it is the kids staying home. mother and father are both working. who's taking care of the kids? the answer is, right now, our child care situation is absolutely dismal. in vermont and all of this country, it is very difficult for working families to find good, quality, affordable child care. what happens if you do not find good, quality child care? they spend his or her's day
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watching television. by the time they get to high school, they are dropping out. i think we need to fundamentally rethink child care. school does not start at five or six, but this is a different economy than it was five or six years ago. we need good, quality, affordable child care that is good for the country. [applause] >> i am a well-traveled musician. i would like to congratulate you on your incredible focus of these issues. you really know what you are saying. you understand. i want to speak specifically on a when-issued. i just came back from china. this idea of what is going on in china and just kind this into
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before, the world is actually supporting the arab world. this is not against anyone. there's probably more oil in this country. in the rest of the world. you know that. it is not being used. he would no more than me. the other idea of the offshore manufacturing that is the backfiring, it is backfiring on purpose because of the issue of economics. it is the corp. against the small guys. all of the employment is over there. the energy consumption, the new technology being developed over there, you have no idea what is going on. 1.6 billion people that are now owning a car so they are the second biggest market in the
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world. this idea of trying to turn this around in the single most important challenge, i think, so we can sustain this and creating jobs. they get it. >> thank you very much. >> i'm bob, a strong economy with good jobs depending on an effective educatinon system. you need to get politics in washington. trust your teachers. have a faith in the education profession. i am curious as to how you would feel about possibly repealing no
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child left behind because it does not work and it is too damned expensive. [applause] i would go even one step further and abolish the united states department of education and pulled the back under our jurisdiction and our responsibility. thank you. [applause] >> i agree with about half of your statement, bob. the no child left behind program is no longer called the child left behind. they got rid of the name and i hope they run a lot of the ideas that was incorporated in that. the department of education -- you are right. how are we going to be competitive in a global economy if we do not have an extremely well-educated work force? let me say a few things. first of all, as a nation,

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